When I was in 6th grade, I got my first phone from my parents. I remember telling my dad that I didn’t need texting because none of my friends use it and I couldn’t find the purpose of it. Fast forward 7 years and I couldn’t name someone who doesn’t have not only the ability to text, but unlimitedly.
One of the most obvious sources, but often overlooked, of new media is texting. At first glance, we can’t really understand how texting can harm our social development as individuals, in fact it increases the amount of interaction we have with others. From a utopian perspective, one could argue that if we are able to constantly communicate with each other, we will never have the dilemma of lack of communication which will lead to better relationships.
But I already can see how texting can lead us down a path of a dystopia. Insert yourself in a situation where you need to contact someone and what would your immediate reaction be? I would always think to shoot someone a text instead of calling them and can even self justify that the reason is to convenience them and not take away time from whatever they are doing. Thinking closer to motives, however, the reason that I might not call could be because it’s easier just to text someone because of the lack of personal interaction I need to have.
The use of texting can hinder our ability to communicate with each other face to face because we don’t have as much exposure to such a reaction. This can also be said by the frequency that we often text while already being with others. Our relationship with those that we are spending time with can come across as being considered “second string” to our “relationship” with the person we’re texting.
Overall, I want to believe that the constant development of new and faster ways to contact each other at the tips of our fingers is only going to benefit us but the way it’s going, I would argue that it’s doing the exact opposite. We need to determine a way to increase personal interaction and that’s something that we definitely need to look away from our screens to figure out.